Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Philippine STAR : One of the Three Outstanding Newspapers for 2012

STAR associate editor Marichu Villanueva (right) receives the award from 
UPSCAAI president Norberto Mercado and architect Gregoria Mercado.

Article Originally From:

MANILA, Philippines - For the second year, the University of the Philippines System Christian Alumni Association International (UPSCAAI) has chosen The Philippine STAR as one of three outstanding newspapers for 2012.
UPSCAAI founder and president Norberto Mercado said The STAR was cited for outstanding journalism after meeting the three criteria set by the organization – positive impact of the newspaper on the spiritual life of the Filipino through its news, features, and commentaries; fairness in the publication of articles; and holistic developmental influence or contribution to the nation.
STAR associate editor Marichu Villanueva received the recognition during the awarding last Saturday at the UP-Ayala Land Technohub in Quezon City.
Other awardees were the Manila Bulletin and the Manila Times.
The awarding coincided with the second anniversary of the Dr. Norberto L. Mercado Global iTV (Internet TV) Network.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Korean War

Available on
The Korean War - Norbert Mercado

In 1951, best friends Pete Alvarez and Jose Aban, young men with adventurous goals and ambitions, have joined the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) along with other Filipino soldiers in the 19th Battalion Combat Team.

What experiences await the two in the Korean War?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ce - Cu

Ceballos Josephine
Cenizal Sally
Cepada Tessie
Cepillo Tita
Cerbo Ana May

Cerna Dina Dela
Chan Jane
Chavez Elisa
Cheng Corazon
Cheng Rachel

Chua Susan
Chuaco Teresita
Cital Gina
Cidro Emily
Cimatu Jerlyn

Clamar Lilia
Clave Pinky
Clemente Lorna
Clemente Rufina
Clementin Corazon

Codo-og Grace
Coja Redelyn
Colas Edith
Colisa Bernadette
Collado Ma. Lourdes

Collantes Perlita
Columna Jonelle
Combite Concepcion
Comia Helen
Comia Shirley

Concio Ma. Violeta
Constantino Daisy
Constantino Rose
Constantino Susan
Contaoi Leonora

Contrillas Rosie
Cordero Rebecca
Cornelio Caroline
Cornelio Cecilia
Cornelio Juliet

Corpuz Editha
Corpuz Fely
Corpuz Gloria
Corpuz Jocelyn
Corpuz Melita

Corpuz Milagros
Corpuz Perlita
Corpuz Socorro
Corsiga Cecilia
Cortel Diana

Cortez Anita
Cortez Filipina
Cortez Florenda
Cortez Juliet
Costales Leny

Costales Mallory
Costales Minda
Credo Angelina
Credo Margarita
Crisostomo Nelda

Cristobal Analyn
Cruta Tessie
Cruz Annalyn
Cruz Erma
Cruz Agnes dela

Cruz Elsa dela
Cruz Fely dela
Cruz Grace dela
Cruz Jennylyn dela
Cruz Luz dela

Cruz Magdalena dela
Cruz Marcelina dela
Cruz Marissa dela
Cruz Mildred dela
Cruz Myrna dela

Cruz Noralyn dela
Cruz Precy dela
Cruz Rosenda dela
Cuaresma Leonila
Cubita Maryjean

Cubon Marilou
Cuenca Ligaya
Cueva Marlyn dela
Cuevas Charlotte
Cuison Marivic

Culannay Jocelyn
Cunag Maritess
Cuntapay Lornaliza
Cupido Christine
Cusapang Myrna


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ca

Caalim Rowena
Cabacungan Mercedita
Caballero Edith
Cabansag Miriam
Cabansag Susan

Cabaya Maribel
Cabic Maribel
Cabic Marta
Cabillete Fe
Cabinta Evangeline

Cabradilla Cynthia
Cabrillos Pacilia
Cabugao Editha
Cabulisan Rosemarie
Caburao Margaret

Cac Marcy
Cacatian Luzviminda
Cachero Imelda
Cacho Agnes
Cacho Alicia

Cacho-Gamalog Cris
Cada Crizeldy
Cadano Mary Ann
Cadoog Grace
Cagape Agustina

Cajalne Arlene
Cajimat Gilda
Cajipe Salvacion
Cajulao Erlinda
Calado Gloria

Calamaza Clarita
Calang Daisy
Calanog Marina
Caldeo Delma
Calibuso Gemma

Calica Josie
Calim Shirley
Calinao Marilou
Calixto Carmelita
Callagon Ma. Lea

Callagon Ma. Leni
Callejo Clarita
Calma Mila
Calo Thelma
Calonge Mercy

Camacho Carol
Camacho Cornelia
Camagan Remegia
Camello Thelma
Campanano Hermelina

Campo Luz Del
Campomanes Analisa
Canapi Leonel
Canimo Candelaria
Canlas Alice

Canonizado Mary Ann
Cansicio Gloria
Cantos Leonora
Capilitan Lornet
Capindian Irma

Capito Joy
Capistrano Pacita
Capua Wilma
Cara Luzviminda
Caraang Milagros

Carbonelle Maribelle
Cariaga Celerina
Cariaga Priscilla
Carilllo Dorothy
Carino Lilibeth

Carino Rosalinda
Carpio Rosalina
Carreon Marcelina
Carritero Christina
Casco Lolita

Casillia Lilia
Casillia Roma
Casima Patsy
Casio Ma. Lisa
Castillo Emelia

Castillo Jocelyn
Castillo Susana
Castillo Virginia
Castillo Zenaida
Castillon Leonor

Castro Evangeline
Castro Sylvi
Castro Lodevina De
Casuga Elvira
Catalino Rowena

Cate Marina
Cauan Noimi
Cauilan Juliet
Cauyao Lualhati
Caviente Janeth

Cawagdan Estrella
Cawayan Dionisia
Cayaban Elydia
Cayabyab Lidia
Cayanan Victoria

Cayao Josephine
Cayda Judith
Cayong Alma Bella


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amazon's Author Rank Tool

If you have an Amazon Author Central account, then you will notice that a new tab has been introduced recently - the Rank tab (as seen in the image below).

This is the new tool on Author Central called Author Rank. To quote Amazon, "Author Rank is based on the sales of all of your books on and is updated hourly."

So how does this tool work?

Well, it automatically lists all the categories of the books you've published on Amazon in the left side bar. (These categories were the ones you set when you first published your book.) I've classified some of my books as Fiction, others as Romance, and still others fall under Historical. So my left side bar looks something like the image below.

If you are an author who writes about a lot of different topics, I would imagine your list to be longer. And note that you have to indicate the books you authored under the Books tab. Otherwise, the sales data about that book won't be factored in your author ranking.

You can then use these categories as filters and sub-filters to generate a graph that looks like the one below.

The graph indicates your current ranking out of a total number of authors. Are there really 500,000 listed authors on Amazon? I don't know. And right now, I'm ranked between 100,000 and 200,000. I must admit, I haven't reached the status of John Grisham or J R R Tolkien yet. But one can always aspire.

Is the tool useful? I guess, from a motivational perspective, it is important to try to at least get into the top 100 list - for further exposure perhaps. I always read from the comments of other authors on Amazon that it is important to stay in the Top 100 list of Authors since some readers will base their purchasing decision on books from the authors in the top of the list. This is pretty difficult goal if your level of book sales have not yet reached the level of sales of those authors already on the list.

Still, thank you to all who have purchased or downloaded copies of Cambodia's Children of Sorrow, The Last Romanov, and  Windflowers. I hope you all enjoyed reading these books. Try my other books too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple's Book Widget Builder

Below are a couple of sample book widgets built using Apple's Widget builder. You can access it through this link It is very easy to use. Just search for the book you want to create a widget for, and then copy the code below HTML-Encoded Output:

You can then easily paste the code on your blog and if your readers click on the View button, they will be redirected to Apple's iTunes webpage where the reader can purchase the book via Apple.


This widget also gives ebook authors an advantage in that whenever they decide to change the book cover or book description or blurb, or even the book's price, the widget code no longer needs to be edited. So this widget could exist on multiple sites or blogs, but editing is done from a single source, (Apple of Smashwords), and all the sites can be updated.

The widget also increases credibility and authenticity. The user is given an assurance that the link she is about to click on will lead her to Apple's iTunes site and not some other site. Granted, the look and feel of Apple's widget can be duplicated, but if Apple is wise, it would constantly update this widget to improve its authenticity.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Excerpt from Some Winds Blow Forever

Now available on
Apple's iTunes
Share on Goodreads
“What is love?” Gina asked the Lithuanian-American as they rested in the living room after dinner. “I have read various definitions of love, but the more I know about it, the more questions come into my mind. Do you know?”
     Cara was silent for a minute. She just looked at her friend’s eyes, wanting to decipher what was in Gina’t thoughts.
     The radio was softly playing in the background. In that moment of silence between them, the station played the song of the Righteous Brothers entitled “Unchained Melody.”
     Cara smiled at her friend as she gave the answer she knew. “I learned that the Greeks have three words for love: phileo, which is the love of parents, brothers, sisters or friends; eros, which is erotic or sensual love; agape, which is God’s love. Your love for your boyfriend, then, falls under eros.
     “Erotic…” Gina teasingly said.
     “If there is no eros, how can there be a population boom? You and I wouldn’t be here tonight.”
     Gina laughed. “You said it right.”
     “Whatever kind of love a person has, commitment must be involved. If you really love a brother, a sister, or a friend, you must commit yourself to love the person no matter what the cost is. You’ll always stand by him, rain or shine. The measure of love is the degree of commitment it offers. Love is hollow and meaningless without commitment,” Cara explained.
     “Should I continue to love him then, even if I feel that the love he has for me, if there’s still any, isn’t commensurate to the love I offer?” Gina asked.
     The Lithuanian-American paused for a reply.
     “You’ll have to change your love for him from eros to phileo, or even agape, which is sacrificial love, the love of Christ for sinful mankind while he was dying on the cross. This change of love will take a different meaning and direction. Erotic love demands a possession of the person; that is not so with agape. Agape is unconditional. It stays unchanged irrespective of the response of the other person. Passivity or rejection fors not change agape. If your love is only eros, then fondness is easily transformed to hatred, and the desire to build becomes a desire to destroy,” Cara said.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steps In Buying An Ebook from Smashwords

Step 1: Go to and search for the Author or Title of the Book you'ld like to purchase

Step 2: Select the book you'ld like to purchase

Step 3: Click on "Add to cart"

Step 4: If you already have a Smashwords account, simply log in. Otherwise, you will need to create an account. Patiently fill out all the fields required under the "Join Smashwords" section

Once you're done filling out the information, click on "Sign Up"

Step 5: You might need to check your email and click on the confirmation link sent to you by Smashwords before you can log in. Once you're log in, you'll notice that the upper right corner of the Smashwords page should now show your e-mail address to signify you are logged in. You can now click on "Add to cart" to include the book you are about to purchase

Step 6: You can change the quantity of books you would like to purchase or add other books by searching again. This is the section were you can also enter a coupon code (for discounts and even free books) if you happen to have one. If you are satisfied with your purchase list, Click on "Check Out"

Step 7: Select a payment option. You can use a VISA, American Express, or Discovery credit card or you can also use a Paypal account.

Step 8: If you're going to use a credit card, fill out the information required and then click on "Finish". If you are using Paypal, you will be redirected to Paypal's login page where you can settle the payment.

Step 9: If you see the words "You own it", then congratulations, you have successfully purchased a book from Smashwords.

You should now be able to download the ebook in various formats, including Apple, Kindle, Nook e-reader formats and even PDF, HTML or text files for your PC, Laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Excerpt from The Last Romanov

“Come here, darling. I’ll tell you something,” Aleksandra said as she beckoned the boy to come to her.

Aleksandra embraced the boy tightly and warmly, showing Alexei how much she loved him. Then, she told him to sit on her lap.

Olga left them. She went into her sister’s room.

Hugging the boy, she reminded him, “Darling, do you still remember what I told you before?”

Alexei was silent.

“Well, I told you to be careful of people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t talk to them, or be their friend. But you just have to be careful. Be careful on what you tell them about yourself, about the Tsar, about the family.”

Alexei remained quiet. He was just listening to his mother’s counsel.
“You see, darling… people want to know about us. Especially, the enemies of your father.”

“Father has enemies?” Alexei asked.

“Well, yes…” Aleksandra was cautious. “Everyone has enemies. People who are jealous of your father sow intrigues to harm him, to harm us,” Aleksandra said.

“Why do they do that?” the boy asked.

“Well, as I said, they are jealous of your father. Your father is a popular man. He is a peaceful man. So, some people, evil people, got jealous of him. They sow intrigues, lies! They want to destroy him. They gather the information about him, about us, and twist the information to make us appear bad. They wish to destroy us that way,” the Empress said.

“Why do they do that, mother? Why are they jealous?” the boy asked.

“They want power, Alexei,” the Empress ruefully replied.

The boy looked at his mother who was trying to control her tears.

“What is power, mother?” Alexei innocently asked.
The Empress looked at her son. She bit her lip. Then she replied, “Power is what you need to rule over men.”

To a lad, the expression was vague, at best, an abstraction. Alexei just looked at his mother’s eyes, now wet with tears.
“You’re still young. There are so many things that you cannot understand now. But someday… someday, you will,” the Empress stated.

“Mother, if I want to become like father someday, how do I get power?” Alexei asked.

The Empress grasped for an answer. It was a question totally unexpected, thrown to her by a lad, so innocent about the ways of men.

How could she tell this boy, her only son, that for someone to get power, he must have men, many men, millions of men armed to the teeth, ready to enforce authority at all costs, to kill and be killed in order to preserve legitimate government, whether an autocracy or a republic.

“You must have men, men who are loyal to you, men who will not abandon you in times of need, when darkness falls. And if someday, you will have power, you must distinguish well who your friends are, your real friends. That is very important,” the Empress said emphatically.

“Why, mother?” the boy unpretentiously asked.

“Because power is like sugar. It is sweet. And ants come to eat it, to take it away. And there are so many kinds of ants… black, red… And all of them want sugar,” the Empress allegorically explained.

The boy smiled. “If they all want sugar, why don’t we give it away? So they won’t be hungry,” he asked.

“It is nice to give bits to them, but not all of the sugar. If you give all the sugar you have to the ants, then you won’t have anything left for yourself. When you need it, you don’t have it. And many ants bite, especially the red ones, and their bite is painful,” the Empress said.

“Mother, why do people hate? Hatred is such an ugly word.”

“People hate because they are incapable of loving” the Empress replied.

“Why, don’t they want to love? Isn’t love good? Why don’t they want to be good?” Alexei barraged the Empress with questions.

“Because man is sinful, Alexei,” the Empress replied.

“All men mother?”

“Yes, Alexei, all men.”

The boy became sad. If all men were sinful, that included his father. He looked up to his father, and it saddened him to know that the person he looked up to, belonged to the race of sinful men.

“Are women sinful too?” he asked the Empress.

She smiled at her son as she nodded.

Alexei looked down with reproach, rueful that all humanity is sinful.

The Empress held his chin, slowly lifting his head, and looked at her son straight in the eyes.

Then, she said, “That’s why a baby was born in a manger, Alexei. That baby is Jesus. He came to be our guide in this dark, sinful world. He came to be our Light, so that we will not stumble in the darkness. And even if we do, and most often, we do stumble, the Light of the World shows us the way. Do you understand, my son?”

The boy nodded.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Bu

Bucsit Julie
Buen Evangerine
Bueno Buenconsejo
Bueno Liberty
Bueno Wennie

Bueron Teresita
Bugarin Norvy
Buis Remedios
Bulahao Rosemarie
Bulanit Zenaida

Buli-e Lilibeth
Bulos Mary
Bulusan Marina
Bumacsa Ruby
Bumagat Michelle

Bumanglag Miriam
Burca Corazon
Bustamante Helen


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Br

Brasas Larievel
Bravo Eliza
Bravo Lolita
Bravo Myrna
Bravo Zenaida

Brico Josefina
Brillantes Irene
Brillantes Janette
Briones Myrna
Briones Virginia

Briosos Faye
Bruto Rosita
Brutsche Vilma


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Bo

Bobiles Emy
Boncales Marina
Boncolmo Marta
Bondad Mila
Bongcawel Rose

Bongon Salve
Boniog Julieta
Borbe Marlyn
Borilla Angie
Borja Marjorie

Borja Paz
Borromeo Salud
Bosilla Angelita


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Bi - Bl

Biagtan Arlene
Bieles Alona
Billedo Flordeliza
Billena Sotera
Bimmayag Benilou

Binag Myrna
Binuya Luz
Binyahan Aida
Birco Agnes
Bitamor Gilda

Bitanga Juliet
Bitaya Marina
Bitong Emilia
Bitong Lyn

Blanco Elizabeth
Blanco Guanelie
Blaza Marites


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Be

Beatina Sheila
Bechanes Rose
Belen Elsa
Belita Gavina
Belingon Rita

Beltran Rizalina
Bembo Mercedes
Benavince Lorna
Benedicto Liza
Benito Editha

Benito Edna
Bercades Mindalena
Bercasio Marites
Bernardo Corazon
Bernardo Virginia

Beronilla Lorna
Besana Lyra
Betita Diona
Beza Carolina


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ba

Bacanto Luisa
Bacatan Haidee
Baccol Erlinda
Bactad Ramon
Bactol Lolita

Bacud Gemma
Baculi Ninfa
Badua Ebony
Bagaoisan Elma
Baguistan Marianita

Bajadia Nelia
Bajao Wilma
Baker Letty
Balana Susie
Balance Liwayway

Balanoy Evelyn
Balanza Vilma
Balaoro Nela
Balaque Sonia
Balassu Agnes

Balawag Carolyn
Balbas Lolita
Balbuena Maricris
Balcanao Fortunata
Balderas Julita

Baldove Analyn
Balenas Jelly
Balgos Marietta
Ballan Jovita
Ballio Erlinda

Ballesteros Eden
Baloca Cecilia
Baluan Lilibeth
Banaga Marlene
Banal Paz

Banas-e Yalyn
Bandoy Violeta
Bangsoy Lina
Baoauan Romana
Baoing Elaine

Baptista Celestina
Baptista Delia
Baquiring Gemma
Barahan Catalina
Barbosa Helen

Barcelona Carmen
Bareng Jovita
Barinar Mary Anne
Barlas Zarah
Barlintangco Marites

Barredo Arlyn
Barrientos Narcelita
Barrios Rosalie
Basbasan Margarita
Bascos Zosima

Basit Zeny
Basito Carmen
Batara Jojie
Bautista Angelita
Bautista Consolacion

Bautista Elizabeth
Bautista Gemma
Bautista Imee
Bautista Leticia
Bautista Susan

Bautista Vicky
Bayaborda Jocelyn
Bayan Rowena
Bayangan Gina
Bayas Adelaida

Bayle Modesta
Baylon Joebe
Baylon Senia
Bayona Darlinda
Bayya Remelyn


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 As - Az

Ascano Marivic
Asuncion Ester
Asuncion Francisca
Asuncion Jing
Asuncion Nora

Atmosfera Estela

Avenir Susan
Aviador Lucia
Avila Lilibeth
Avila Maria

Awingan Norlita

Aya Anita
Ayag Lydia
Ay-yad Nellie

Azuelo Eden


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ar

Arana Nelie
Arana Wennie
Aranas Lya
Aranjuez Anita
Arao Marilou

Arcala Rosita
Arcangel Corazon
Arcano Antonina
Arcilla Armie
Ardiente Estelita

Arellano Corazon
Arellano Honorio
Areola Leonily
Argosa Ma. Cherish
Arguelles Josephine

Arguero Elvira
Arienza Reverencia
Arlanza Gilda
Armena Delia
Armia Elisa

Arnigo Lucila
Arnobit Juliet
Arnobit Ella
Arroyo Jovie
Artates Gertrudes

Arucan Corazon


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Aq

Aquino Caroline
Aquino Delia
Aquino Dinia
Aquino Ester
Aquino Marivic

Aquino Myrna
Aquino Tessie


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ap

Apilado Elizabeth
Apilado Evelyn
Apolonio Melita
Apuado Felicidad


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 An

Ancheta Diane
Ancheta Marivic
Ancheta Patricia
Anciano Remedios
Ancuna Glory

Andalajao Cynthia
Andalencio Raquel
Andarza Teresita
Andrada Nancy
Andres Andrea

Andres Delia
Andres Leilani
Angeles Rowena
Anglib Relicia
Anildes Ginagrace

Anneb Grace
Antao Lilia
Antenor Teresita
Antiquera Emily
Antivo Lerma

Antivola Elena
Antolin Paz
Antone Florie
Antonio Evelyn
Antonio Lydia

Antonio Raquel
Antonio Roberto
Antonio Shirley
Antonio Vivian
Anud Jovie


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Am

Amamag-id Medina
Amangyen Shirley
Amanquiton Jovy
Ambegia Girlie
Amolot Dominga

Amongo Ma. Luisa
Amor Ma. Riza
Amora Ma. Paz
Amosco Lolita


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Al

Alaan Dianely
Alaga Maribel
Alapan Chita
Alandra Gina
Alarilla Willia

Albano Susan
Albarico Ofelia
Albay Elizabeth
Alberto Arcelie
Alecto Sigrid

Alcaide Armida
Alcaide Eulogia
Alcanciado Susana
Alcantara Agnes
Alconera Gloria

Alconis Luz
Alcoz Irene
Alday Amalia De
Alfares Mary Ann
Alfonso Cristeta

Alibin Mary Shirley
Alibuyog Reylinda
Alingbas Cecil
Alipio Emilia
Alisdan Myrna

Almario Crisanta
Almazan Merine
Almendralejo Marina
Alpasan Leticia
Alvarado Alice

Alvarez Cathy
Alvarez Gloria
Alvarez Rosa
Alvarez Rosemarie
Alvior Ofelia


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ag

Agacid Melanie
Agagas Lilia
Agagen Jacqueline
Agagon Remedios
Agaran Milagros

Agbayani Leannet
Agbulos Grace
Agcaoili Maribel
Agcaoili Eden
Aggalot Marivic

Agito Ma. Dolores
Agmata Melvida
Agni Imelda
Agoat Leila Grande
Agonoy Marilou

Agoo Marilyn
Agpawa Mylene
Agsalda Lina
Agtang Alicia
Aguado Vivian

Aguilar Gina
Aguirre Marilou
Agulan Gregorio
Agullana Elsie
Agurita Racquel

Agustin Edith
Agustin Esther
Agustin Estrella
Agustin Ginalyn
Agustin Jacqueline

Agustin Loida
Agustines Editha


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ad

Adarbe Thelma
Adolacion Carmen
Adordionicio Johnny
Adsuana Nida


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993 Ac

Acojedo Wayne
Acosta Amelita
Acosta Branette
Acosta Corazon
Acosta Criselda

Acosta Emma Marie
Acosta Evelyn
Acosta Lina
Acosta Nora
Acosta Teresita


Friends I Gained In Hong Kong From 1992 - 1993

If you would like you're friends to be able to get in touch with you, just leave your contact details in the "Comments" section at the end of the post. You could also get in touch with me via Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for all of your support.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012


To the Seeker of the Right
Dr. Norberto L. Mercado, MNSA, Sigma Rho '73
President, Philippine-American Writers Society


        (This article is a continuation of my previous article titled "THE TRUTH ABOUT JUNE 12,1898" which was published in this e-column . Dr. Norberto L. Mercado, MNSA,RC 21, Youngest Graduate in the History of  NDCP - the War College of the Philippines) .

       I had a very pleasant evening  conversation with my Sigma Rho brod JP Quimpo recently, and among our topics was the coming of the American navy to the Philippines on May 1,1898.

       We had dinner at KFC in UP-Ayala Techno Hub, and then a cup of brewed coffee in a nearby Starbucks. And after we  discussed myriads of issues about the constructive and  positive effects of the Sigma Rho Alumni  countrywide unification, JP and I found ourselves discussing Philippine history when I thanked him for re-posting my article "THE TRUTH ABOUT JUNE 12,1898" to the FACEBOOK Account of the Sigma Rho ( non-Diliman/Manila account ) .

       JP asked this question : "What if the Americans didn't come ?"

       It's an intriguing question. What if the American navy under Admiral George Dewey didn't come to the Philippines and fought the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1,1898 ? Or if Dewey's battleships lost to the Spanish navy ?

       From the coming of the  Spanish Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to the coming of American Navy Admiral George Dewey was a span of three centuries and more than three decades. The Philippines, described by Dr. Jose "Rizal" Mercado ,who was a nephew of my great grandfather,  as the "Pearl of the Orient Seas", was a prized Spanish possession.

       Spain would not give  up the Philippines  to the Filipino revolutionaries led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. The Spanish crown would give it up only to a superior conqueror, and that is the United States.

       To prove my point, I will cite to you two clear historical incidents : 


        Again, the "nationalist whatevers" will bamboozle me for this statement . But this is the truth . Between Spain and the Philippines, I will choose the Philippines anytime because it is my homeland . But between falsehood and the truth, I will choose the truth anytime. 

        What really happened? Simple. Through Pedro Paterno, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo agreed to surrender his forces, including their firearms, for a relatively huge amount of  eight hundred thousand (800,000) Mexican pesetas in the "Treaty of Biak-na-Bato" . The amount would be paid in three installments by the Spanish government in Manila.

         In short, and sad to say it , the Filipino rebel leaders under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo  sold their revolution !  This is a hard statement, but it is the truth, and the truth hurts . 

        It is also stipulated in the said treaty that Gen. Aguinaldo and the Filipino  rebel leadership would agree to be exiled  to a foreign land of their choice. Aguinaldo and his circle chose Hong Kong. His group would later be called the "Hong Kong Junta" .  They were all under surveillance by the Spanish Consulate in Hong Kong on the first  day they arrived in that British colony. ( I  did business in Hong Kong for almost 10 years ). 

       What the "nationalist whatevers" were saying that the "Hong Kong Junta" would use the money for purchasing firearms was purely speculative. Granting for the sake of argument that such purchase of firearms  was Aguinaldo's intention . The Spanish Consulate in Hong Kong would have known such purchase thru its numerous agents that included "bellas hermosas" . 

      And the Spanish Crown could have asked its fellow European colonizer Great Britain to arrest and imprison the Hong Kong Junta for conspiring to overthrow Spain inside a British territory. That would have been treason by the "Hong Kong Junta" against their host - the English crown . Let us not forget that the Spanish royals and the English royals are blood relatives!


       The Spanish royals, the German royals, and the French royals are also related by blood through inter-marriages ! 

       This is the reason why Germany and France sent their battleships to Manila Bay - to block any enemy ship which would carry firearms to the Filipino revolutionaries . The German ships and French ships were all docked in Manila Bay when  Admiral Dewey's fleet destroyed all warships of the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Manila Bay ! 

      Why didn't the Germans and the French join the fray? Well, they knew the firepower  of the US battleships, and they didn't have the go signal from their respective governments to fight the United States. 

        And so, I  answered  my Sigma Rho brod JP Quimpo's question : "What if the Americans didn't come?" 

        I told him : " The Philippines would have remained a Spanish colony until the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War 2".

        And even if  Dewey's fleet came, but it lost to the Spanish Armada in Manila Bay, Spain would have continued its centuries-old  colonial rule - until the Japanese Imperial Army came in December 1941.

        By the way, there was no "Philippine Republic" during the ruthless Japanese rule. There was  the "JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES" . The PRESIDENT of the JAPANESE GOVERNMENT  IN THE PHILIPPINES is  Jose P. Laurel .He was a Japanese collaborator . There were other Japanese collaborators with Jose P. Laurel. He nearly died in an assassination attempt by the Filipino guerillas.

        My father, Aurelio Mercado Sr., was a guerilla officer during World War 2. My uncle, Gadong Lacierna , brother of my mother Francisca Lacierna of San Clemente, Tarlac, was a Bataan veteran and Death March survivor. Sick and emaciated, he decided to escape  in Pampanga  because the Japanese forces were bayonetting Filipino and American "death marchers" who were too sick to  walk.  Another brother of my mother, Quirino Lacierna, was a member of the Philippine Scouts . When Bataan fell, he joined the guerillas. Uncle Gadong later joined him.

        From them, my family members,  I learned love for my poor  country. This is the main  reason why I have remained in the Philippines until now.  That doesn't mean though that Filipinos who have migrated to the US don't love their country. I believe they do. 

        I love living with my family - my wife June, our children John Mark, Jerusalem Angela, and Joanne - in our homeland - the Philippines . 

       When my Heavenly Father  says that  my time and work on earth  is up, I want to die in my homeland, and not as an "economic exile"  in another country. 

                                                             Dr. Norberto L. Mercado 
                                                             Quezon City, Philippines
                                                             Posted on  June 26,2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

To the Seeker of the Right
by Dr. Norberto L. Mercado


                                 "You can not cheat history." - Anonymous

History is my favorite subject. I topped all my history exams in  my elementary, high school, and  college years - Philippine history, Asian history, and world history.

I would have taken history as my first course in college if Ninoy Aquino Jr. was not my idol way back my high school years in Moncada,Tarlac. Ninoy was a journalist, and I wanted to be like him. And so, I took up Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in UP Diliman as my first course.


In college, I heard the so-called "nationalist whatevers" claim that the Americans denied the Filipino revolutionaries, headed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo , victory over the Spanish army.
To their version of Philippine history, the United States is the imperialist enemy which prevented what could have been the first successful Philippine revolution against Spain.

Were  those "nationalist whatevers" saying  the truth? Or were they spinning falsehood?

I love my country, the Philippines. My grandfather Francisco Lacierna was an officer in the army of  Gen. Makabulos in Tarlac during the 1896 revolution against Spain. My father, Aurelio Mercado Sr., was a guerilla officer  during  the Japanese period. (There was no Philippine government in the Philippines during that dark period; only a Japanese government manned by Filipino collaborators). My uncle Gadong Lacierna was a USAFFE. He fought in Bataan. He joined the Death March, but was able to escape in Mabalacat, Pampanga. He joined the guerillas with his younger brother, Uncle Quirino, who was a member of the Philippine Scouts. From their examples of sacrifice, I learned by heart love of country from my youth.

I should have left the Philippines for the United States  with my wife, Architect June Morales-Mercado, and our children 30 years ago.  But we opted to stay in our beloved land, and contributed the little I could to protect its freedom and enhance its security. I have no regrets. And if we were to start all over again, we would do the same thing.


Between the Philippines and the US, I will choose the Philippines anytime. But between falsehood and the truth, I will choose truth anytime.

What are the truths which I want to share with you in this article which I'm writing this day, June 2,2012, or 10 days before our June 12 Philippine Independence Day celebrations?

The lesson from our history : no bloody revolution will ever succeed in our 7,100 islands.  CPP-NPA-NDF chief and communist dictator Jose Ma. Sison  should have seriously pondered on this truth before he started his Mao-Pol Pot-type of  revolution which has claimed more than 60,000 lives of Filipino men, women, and children, most of whom belong to the poorest of the poor. There were 25,000 NPAs in 1988, and Joma was saying that his communist revolution had already reached the "strategic stalemate" stage. Today, there are less than 4,000 NPAs, and Joma is back to the strategic defensive stage after 45 years of fighting ! He will not succeed in his desire to be a Kim Il Sung, Mao, or Fidel Castro even if he has to fight for 100 years . History is not on Joma's side, which is good for the country.  All Filipino revolutions against Spain failed, mainly because of the archipelagic nature of the Philippines . This  makes it hard for the leaders of a bloody revolution to unite the people who speak different dialects and have prejudices against one another ( Cebuanos and Tagalogs, Ilokanos and Kapampangans,Ilonggos and Muslims, etc.). The Sumuroy rebellion, the Tamblot rebellion, the Dagohoy rebellion, the Diego and Gabriela Silang rebellion, the Palaris rebellion, and scores of rebellions against Spain all failed, including the 1896 Philippine revolution. Filipino historians, like Teodoro Agoncillo, have been shy in explaining  to  Filipino students  that our 1896 revolutionaries sold their revolution at Biak Na Bato  for a relatively huge amount  when they signed the "Pact of Biak Na Bato" and allowed themselves to be exiled by the Spanish government in the Philippines  to Hong Kong! Those revolutionary leaders were later lumped as the "Hong Kong Junta". They were under the constant surveillance of the Spanish consulate in Hong Kong, with its agents who included "bella mujeres" who befriended the Hong Kong Junta members. The  "nationalists' claim that the "Hong Kong Junta" would use the money they received from the Spanish government to purchase firearms  to continue their revolution was  just a claim to justify their failure. And greed?

At any rate, even if , for the sake of argument, the " Hong Kong Junta " members led by Gen Aguinaldo wanted to use the  money they received from the Spanish government in the Philippines for the purchase of firearms, the Spanish government  (thru their agents in Hong Kong) would have known with speed  such purchase. Telegraph was already well-used during that time.  Spain would have asked the British government in Hong Kong to arrest the junta members and put all of them to jail !  Let us not forget that Spain and England were both European colonizers in Asia, and they were helping  each other maintain their colonies. Even if, for the sake of argument again, the junta was able to buy firearms and load these in a ship to the Philippines, that ship of firearms could have been blocked by the combined armada of Spain, Germany, and France. Yes!  Spain sought the help of Germany and France to maintain their prized Philippine colony. The German and French ships were docked at Manila Bay in 1898, ready to help their fellow European colonizer against the Filipino revolutionaries if the latter would continue with their revolution.


     The "nationalist whatevers" will quarrel with me over this statement. But this is the truth!

     Let's look back to the year 1898, briefly mention  what happened, and analyze the implications of the events from May 1 to June 12, 1898.


     1. On May 1, 1898, the US Navy, led by the battleship Olympia, under the command of Admiral George Dewey, routed the Spanish armada in Manila Bay. All the Spanish ships were destroyed, and many Spanish navy officers and men were killed. The "BATTLE OF MANILA BAY" on May 1,1898 was not a "mock battle", as "nationalist whatevers" wish us to believe. The naval battle is a real, bloody battle between the American and Spanish warships. It was the bombardment of the Spanish ground troops in Manila by the American warships in Manila Bay which appeared to be the "mock battle", and this happened weeks after May 1,1898. After the defeat of the Spanish navy in Manila Bay, the Spanish government in the Philippines realized that the end was near. The Spanish Governor General  in the Philippines  was  negotiating with Dewey for an honorable transfer of power. And he didn't want more Spanish troops killed .  And so, the American bombardiers intentionally missed the Spanish troops holed in Intramuros and in Baclaran. That is the "mock battle".

        After the total destruction of the Spanish ships, Admiral Dewey knew that it was difficult to occupy Manila without ground troops. He wired Washington for reinforcements. At the same time, he sent the battleship McCullough,  which participated in routing the Spanish ships, to fetch Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and his junta in Hong Kong. Admiral Dewey needed the help of Aguinaldo in the  fight against the Spanish  ground troops in Manila and its environs.

         2. On May 19,1898, Gen. Aguinaldo arrived at Sangley Point, Cavite aboard the US battleship McCullough. The American naval officers who fetched him in Hong Kong brought him to the battleship Olympia, where Admiral George Dewey was. Aguinaldo was accorded full military honors and reception  due his rank . It was in that meeting with Admiral Dewey in the battleship Olympia where Dewey allegedly told Aguinaldo (according to Aguinaldo) that the US would help the Filipino revolutionaries expel the Spanish government in the Philippines, and the US would not occupy the Philippines. Dewey, however, claimed that whatever he told Aguinaldo about the US not occupying   the Philippines was a personal opinion, and not the official position of Washington D.C. Who was telling the truth? We may never know .

        3. On June 12,1898, or three weeks and three days after the Aguinaldo-Dewey meeting in the US battleship Olympia, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite. The rest is history.

        QUESTIONS  :

        1. If the American navy was defeated by the Spanish navy in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1,1898, was it possible for Admiral Dewey to send the battleship McCullough to Hong Kong and fetch Gen. Aguinaldo? The answer is NO.

        2. If Admiral Dewey did not send the battleship McCullogh to Hong Kong to fetch Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, was it possible for the Filipino revolutionary leader to come back to Sangley Point in Cavite on May 19,1898? The answer is NO.

        3. If Aguinaldo was not in the Philippines beginning May 19,1898 ( and was still in Hong Kong ) , was it possible for him to be physically present in Kawit, Cavite on June 12,1898 to proclaim the independence of the Philippines? The answer is NO.

         4. And if he was not in the Philippines in 1898 (and was still in Hong Kong), was it possible for him to lead his troops against the Spaniards who were trapped in Intramuros? The answer is NO.

        HISTORY TEACHES US, therefore, that without the American navy battleship McCullogh, which participated in destroying the Spanish ships in the "Battle of Manila Bay", fetching Aguinaldo in Hong Kong, there would have been no June 12,1898 proclamation of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

        Did the US government want to colonize the Philippines beginning the year 1898, and so it sent Admiral Dewey and his battleships to Manila Bay on May 1,1898? The answer is YES. American agents posing as traders were already in Manila and Cebu City in the 1850s.  The Philippines is strategically located in Southeast Asia. The US needs it to its expand its military, political, economic, and cultural power in Asia and the Middle East. Without its  influence and power in the Asia-Pacific, the United States will just be a regional power like China, and not the only superpower it is today. Any claim that China has attained "superpower" status does not know what he is talking about. It will take decades, if ever, before China can equal or surpass the military technology, capability, and influence of the US in the four continents of the world. That's the truth.

        Someone said : " You  can not  cheat history". Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos used to say, "No one can cheat history".  That's the truth which history teaches us.

DR. NORBERTO L. MERCADO, UP SIGMA RHO '73, is a National Security analyst, and the youngest graduate in the history of the National Defense College of the Philippines, the only war college of this country. He is also the 
Founder-President, DR. NORBERTO MERCADO GLOBAL iTV  NETWORK, now with 36 global channels and growing, and the largest iTV Network in the Asia-Pacific Region !
He has authored 25 books, and one of the few ASEAN citizens who has visited all ASEAN countries.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 5

"Wait a minute!" Chrys said as she put her earrings. There were knocks on the door.

She went to open it.

"Hi!" It was Lynn Mijares , her flatmate.

"Hello, Lyn!" Chrys replied.

Lyn was a missionary staff of the Asian Evangelistic Mission. She just arrived from the office. A graduate of political science from the University of the Philippines, she desired to take up law.

But her involvement in the radical movement in the Philippines only gave her trouble as she skipped classes to join anti-government protests.

She got failing grades in several of her subjects. Disgusted over her radical activities and poor grades, her parents told her to quit school when she was in her third year.

After one semester of inactivity at home in San Joaquin, Iloilo, she requested her parents to send her back to the University of the Philippines.

Her parents allowed her to re-enroll at U.P. on two conditions: she would stop her involvement in the Marxist movement, and strive for good grades.

Lyn promised them she would.

She re-enrolled at U.P. in June, 1972.

On September 21, 1972, before the first semester of the school year ended, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation 1081, placing the Philippines under Martial Law.

Lyn was spared from jail but several of her comrades in the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) were apprehended and incarcerated.

All universities and colleges in the Philippines were closed for more than a month after martial law was declared.

Lyn went back to San Joaquin for vacation. She returned to U.P. Diliman when classes resumed.

On November 24, 1972, she was invited by her dorm-mate at the Sampaguita Residence Hall to a Friday Evening Fellowship of students at Ben Lor Bldg., along Quezon Boulevard in Quezon City.

 There, during the fellowship, an American missionary named Joanne Huntington shared with her the love and forgiveness of Christ with the use of a yellow booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws.

Lyn committed herself to God by receiving Jesus Christ through faith as her Savior and Lord.

She became active in the ministry of U.P. Campus Crusade for Christ, and was once editorial assistant of ENCOUNTER, the official publication of the Christian organization.

After graduation, she joined the staff of WOMEN, a monthly magazine.

She quit the publication after two years.

With the conviction that God was calling her to mission work, she enrolled in a Christian mission school in Baguio City.

After graduation, she joined the Asian Evangelistic Mission as a missionary to Hong Kong. That was in 1980.

She had stayed in Hong Kong for almost nine years now.

"Preparing for work?" Lyn asked Chrysanthemum.

"Yes," Chrys answered.

"You look gorgeous!"

"I always am!"

They both laughed.

"Do you have work tonight? Or an appointment?" Chrys asked.

"None. But I want to rest."

"Hey, why don't you go with me this time?"


"Hopewell Centre!"

"Come on, Chrys! What will I do there?"

"Listen to me! You never heard me sing"

"Of course I did. Several times!"


"Here! You sometimes sing in the bathroom!"

Chrys burst into laughter.

"Maybe here, but that's unofficial! You have never heard me sing accompanied by a violin and a guitar."

"You mean you have an official voice?"

"I sure have! And you have never heard it."

"Maybe I will one day."

"Come on Lyn. I have already invited you several times. More than five times if I can remember! Besides, that's not a night club or a disco house. It is a decent restaurant. A very nice place!" she said, the smile gone.

"Okay... I'll go with you this time!"

"Ayan!" Chrys said, smiling again.

An hour later, they were on Thomson Road.

They turned left on O'Brien Road, passing by an array of yellow-flowering trees near the Wan Chai MTR Station.

They walked along Johnston Road, by the Southern Stadium Bldg.

Then they crossed Johnston Road to a nameless street before Amoy Street, to the direction of Admiralty.

The nameless street goes directly to the Hopewell Centre, situated along Queen's Road East.

"Don't you get tired, walking to your work, six times a week?" Lyn asked.

"Sometimes, but it's good exercise. Good for the heart."

Upon reaching the Hopewell Centre Bldg, they took the escalator to the third floor. Hopewell Centre is a cylindrical building which was once the tallest building in Asia.

From the third floor where a shopping arcade and the Tsuruya Japanese Restaurant are located, an elevator lifted them to the 17th floor.

From the 17th floor, they took a glass elevator to the 56th floor.

"Wow! What a scenery! Hong Kong glows at night!" Lyn exclaimed, beholding Victoria Harbour and Kowloon.

"Your first time to come here?" Chrys asked, surprised.


"How long have you been in Hong Kong?"

"About nine years."

"Gosh! Where have you been?"

"Many. But not here!"

The elevator reached the 56th floor. They took another elevator to the 62nd floor where the restaurant called Revolving 66 is located.

"Hi, Chrys!" the receptionist greeted Chrysanthemum.

"Hello, Helen! How are you tonight?"

"Fine. Thank you."

"By the way, Helen, please meet my friend Lyn. Lyn, this is Helen Ng, our receptionist."

"Hello, Lyn! Your first time here?"

"Yes, this is a nice place."

"It is. Hope you'll enjoy it!" Helen said.

Lyn smiled at her.

"By the way, is Boy around already?"

"Yes. Inside."

"What about Danny?"

"Just arrived. He's inside too."

Boy and Danny accompanied Chrys. The former played the guitar; the latter, the violin.

"Excuse us, Helen."

"Sure! Nice to meet you, Lyn."

"Same here!" Lyn replied.

They both went inside the Revolving 66 Restaurant.

It was full of people. Chinese, Americans, Japanese, British, and other Europeans.

Lyn followed Chrys to a table reserved for her. Boy and Danny were already seated.

"Hi, Chrys!" Danny was the first to greet her.

"Hello, Chrys!" Boy seconded.

"Hello! By the way, please meet my flatmate, Lyn Mijares. She's a missionary."

"Hi, Lyn!" Danny shook her hand.

So did Boy. "Your first time here?" he asked.


"Please take your seat," Danny said.

The four sat down, Chrys opposite Danny, and Lyn opposite Boy.

"What's your order?" Chrys asked Lyn.

"You decide. You're my boss tonight."

Chyrs laughed. She called for the waitress.

"Please give her a steak, fruit salad, and Coke. Citrus drink for me. Hot, please!" Chrys told the waitress. "What about you guys?"

"Thanks, were through,"  Danny replied.

Lyn looked at Victoria Harbour.

"This restaurant turns, that's why it's called Revolving 66. As it turns, you see the whole of Hong Kong," Chrys told her.

"Nice place," Lyn remarked.

"You like it?" Chrys asked.

Lyn nodded. She really liked the place.

"Then come here more often."

"Only if you pay my bill," Lyn said, smiling.

Her three companions laughed.

Minutes later, their order arrived.

"What time is it?" Chrys asked Danny, as she sipped the hot citrus drink.

"Three minutes to singing time," Danny answered.

"Lyn, we'll leave you for a while. It's singing time," Chrys said.

"Go on! I can manage," she replied with confidence.

The three left her to entertain the diners.
<< Return to Chapter 4 | Proceed to Chapter 6 >> 

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